We Are Still Here (2015)

We Are Still Here  (Horror, Supernatural,  2015) (18) D: Ted Geoghegan W: Richard Griffin (based on a concept by) P:  C: Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig,, Larry Fessenden, Lisa Marie, Monte Markham. 1h 24m. USA.

wearestillhere (27)

Synopsis : Every 30 years, a lonely old house in the fields of New England wakes up and demands a sacrifice.

TAGLINE : This house needs a family.

The stark and hushed ghost film from Ted Geoghegan is a smoldering thriller, and possibly too clever for it’s own good. It is by no means underpowered but is so simple the best aspect of the story is often over looked, this doesn’t make it a bad movie it’s just not idiot proof and that’s the best form of horror. From the onset the film is constantly on edge, mixing the right blend of tension and jump scares without utilizing a brash soundtrack to outline what’s coming. Very little is given away from the onset about the situation and history and the viewer is left guessing throughout this enjoyable and somewhat curious but powerful drama which is ultimately unforgettable.

The film,  inspired by a concept from Richard Griffin (Disco Exorcist 2011) who’s usual low brow writing has conjured up some catchy characters, but this is a huge step away from that comfort zone and is a true homage to a classic horror tale. The basic outline to the story revolves around a middle aged couple, The Sacchetti’s, who have recently lost their son in a car accident and are moving out to a rural community to get away from the miserable memories. The mother Anne (Barbara Crampton) is certain that she can feel the presence of her son in the new home and asks for her psychic friends and her sons best friend to visit to try and conduct a seance to contact her dead boy. After a very unusual visit from a neighbour and his edgy wife, an electrician badly burnt in the unusually hot basement, the couple still continue in their attempts to contact the dead and get a lot more than they bargained for in a town with a hushed dark secret that could easily contend with Silent Hill (2006).

Filled with stylish visuals and tense atmosphere throughout, it’s homely and comforting while also being freaky as hell. As much as the ghosts do remind me of the later stages of Thanatomorphose (2012) they are quite unusual for the average haunted house movie. With lashings of creepiness and intelligent dose of gore this film delivers on so many levels.There is a particularly well handled scene near the end when the Sacchetti’s come face to face with the ghosts and the stand off has so much tension.

It’s radiant to see and older couple as leads, dealing with the horrors of the house,  as the typical approach is to chuck in a bucket of teenagers, but in a style reminiscent of House by the Cemetery (1981) we’ve gone back to adults having to being sensible about these matters, and it works so well. I like that there are no huge speeches about how to perform a seance or how things works, it’s all down to earth and natural, this simple approach twinned with short bursts of outrageous and controlled violence works much better at shocking an audience rather than jump scares. This is something which will be unusual for the younger audience and might work against the movie, while it’s greatly appreciated as far as I’m concerned, and I’m delighted that the film closes in a way in which we might be able to see a sequel and hopefully a prequel at some point.

 

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Rating –  8/10

R: Silent Hill (2006), House by the Cemetery (1981)

V: It’s almost like returning to an old lover, this film revisits all of the golden themes and ideas of old horror movies. It’s not purely mindless buckets of blood, but there is a lot of bloody gory violence, the ghosts aren’t just creepy haunting voices but hardcore psychotic killers, the town has a dark history like silent hill but it’s not all it has. Showing great love and endearment for the horror genre, it all comes home to the house that needs a family. and I do indeed hope that it does become a family with more films to come.

L: Modern Ghost Films, Haunted houses

PD : Coming Soon

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